Previous: Comics roundup

Next: Pears redux (24)

A cup of tea

Post #1459 • February 22, 2010, 10:03 AM • 92 Comments

Posting threatens to be light and commentary just about absent over the next three weeks. A series of projects has presented itself, each one of which could be a fruitful opportunity to either make art, or do something to support it. I'm keeping details to myself for the time being, but don't mind mentioning the one I'm in the midst of: an e-commerce site for my work built on the Django framework. I've been threatening to do something along these lines for about a year now, and my art-making and programming skills have finally coalesced to a degree that makes this possible. Of all the ideas posited by commenters and yours truly that might make the world a better place for the art we prefer, the possibility of artists taking responsibility for the sale of their own art - an idea endorsed and thoroughly thought through by Caroll Michels - looks like the most viable. The legwork involved is not worse than what one has to go through to garner attention from the usual channels, and allows for greater autonomy from them and all else.

Will it work? Who knows? But back in California I co-taught a basic illustration class, and we used How to Grow as an Illustrator as one of the textbooks. The author is not one of the greats of illustration, and I'm sure he'd admit as much. But the book made clear that whatever his talents, he had out-organized just about everyone else in the field. Organization requires no talent, just a certain tolerance for boredom that artists tend not to have in any appreciable supply.

One can make it into something profound, though, through mindfulness. Yesterday I attended a tea ceremony at the teahouse of Kaji Aso Studio at the invitation of David Richardson. I have much to say about this, and a hundred details to write down before I forget them, but the high point was drinking superlative matcha from a 1300-year-old bowl. I emerged with a happy sobriety that I have not often felt in the last few years of movement and searching. I saw how to turn the ordering of details into something life-affirming.




February 22, 2010, 10:41 AM

This lurker is very interested in your scheme. Good luck!



February 22, 2010, 11:38 AM

Me too, Franklin. Godspeed.

Is your site a potential model that could be used by others, for those without the web wits? If not, something like that, done well, would be good. Lean and mean. I would pay for it if it was nice to look at and interface with.

The hold-up for some folks is gonna be the packaging and shipping. It is a bit case by case but generally very straightforward to do effectively and economically.



February 22, 2010, 1:32 PM


Dude, potentially yes. Good to know that there's a market out there for the right setup.



February 22, 2010, 1:53 PM

The +tsy/+bay mire proves there's something of a market.



February 22, 2010, 2:09 PM

Richardson should comment more here. Very common-sensical, as I recall. His work is excellent also.

Franklin and I agreed not to talk about politics any more. I assume that is OK with everyone.

I have taken up with some very commercial-minded dealers who don't sell work from fancy galleries in NY but go around to shows all over the country and have lots of customers they buy for. They are very basic, talking of "moving merchandise" and couch colors and all that, but they have good eyes (way better than most "art world" people), a minimum of BS and they actually sell art.

They have no problem with abstract art because they know who likes what. So far these associations have been profitable and quite refreshing. I recommend this sort of thing to everyone.



February 22, 2010, 3:44 PM

And by the way, the Mumyoi is mine.



February 22, 2010, 7:14 PM

OP, these dealers you mention have at least reasonably good eyes because they have to be able to pick out art that actually works visually. That stopped being important in the official art world long ago, so that now having a good eye, in that milieu, is not only unnecessary but largely irrelevant.



February 22, 2010, 7:20 PM

I also have a hundred impressions to sort out from our tea ceremony experience Franklin - and will share some of them here a bit later. Thanks so much Opie for the kind words. Suffice to say, we had an excellent tea ceremony, drank excellent tea from ancient tea bowls, one of which was named "Lucky Bowl" by Kaji Aso for having survived for 1200 years. After all this digital experience with Jack's tea bowls it was extraordinary to hold some good ones, warm in the hand from cleaning with hot water from a brazier that was also 1000 years old. Art is not life. Art is an illustration of life (Kaji Aso).



February 22, 2010, 7:56 PM

An illustration of life, yes, but also a complement or an enhancement thereunto. By the way, David, did you see what is now my Mumyoi tea bowl (or will be, once it arrives from Japan)? If not, go to the "Pears" thread, comment #88. It's very cool.



February 22, 2010, 8:09 PM

Excellent Jack. I wasn't sure what you were referring to so thanks for the link. Is this a contemporary bowl? And btw I saw that Pears painting in Franklin's studio yesterday and I reiterate what we often say here - you can't make an informed critique from jpegs.



February 22, 2010, 8:47 PM

If anybody in the New York area or passing through New York is interested in looking at some good art in the flesh(as opposed to on the web), I can recommend the two "gallery artists" shows at Jacobson Howard & Leslie Feely, both at 33 East 68th Street. Not everything is equally good but there are some good works in both shows (including one large & 2 smaller works by Darby Bannard at JH). JH is on through March 18, LF through April, though in both cases what future viewers will see may not be exactly what I saw, as individual pix may get sold or rotated.



February 22, 2010, 9:01 PM

Yes, David, it's contemporary. Mumyoi ware is relatively new; it only dates back to the 1830s. It's made in a small island (Sadogashima) in the Sea of Japan, using clay from gold and silver mines there that is rich in iron and turns very red in oxidation firing. The contrasting black areas are achieved by smoking without oxygen. The pots are also burnished to compress and smoothen the surfaces.



February 22, 2010, 9:28 PM

In honor of Franklin and David's excellent adventure:

A black Oribe tea bowl:

Oribe 1
Oribe 2
Oribe 3

A Hagi bowl with a very frisky gohon-de glaze:

Hagi 1
Hagi 2

A sharp Tanba/mingei bowl:

Tanba 1
Tanba 2

A darkly warm, rich Bizen bowl:

Bizen 1
Bizen 2
Bizen 3
Bizen 4



February 22, 2010, 9:52 PM

I especially like the Tanba bowl. I love that graphic sensibility in Japanese art that conflates modern and ancient.



February 22, 2010, 10:29 PM

A late Edo era black Oribe, with wonderful, deliberate distortion of the shape:

Oribe 1
Oribe 2
Oribe 3
Oribe 4

A very sweet late Meiji Shino bowl:

Shino 1
Shino 2
Shino 3
Shino 4



February 23, 2010, 9:30 AM

I agree with David. The Tanba Bowl is an excellent example of the strength of simplicity.

And the Shino bowl is sweet, childish, like a pet kitten.



February 23, 2010, 10:34 AM

1. Sign me up with "dude" if your scheme works.

2. Though I really like seeing the bowls here, I think Jack should consider a spin-off project,

3. I'm reluctant to bring this up but I'm very impressed and thankful for the durability of this little community after the last few comment threads - agreeing to disagree is tough and rare.



February 23, 2010, 11:06 AM

I like the pots, WWC. No one else is putting any art up, so it is something to look at.

Part of the ethos of this blog is to fight all out and then carry on. Franklin manages it well. If it gets nasty he just shuts it down.

A few years ago we had monumental battles but most of those people got beat up and slunk off.


More like Bored

February 23, 2010, 12:17 PM




February 23, 2010, 12:41 PM

But evidently not bored enough to stay away. Must be pretty hard up, apparently.



February 23, 2010, 1:32 PM

Don't get me wrong - I want the bowls to stay here. I just want more of them. They're certainly much much better than most of the art one can see in galleries.



February 23, 2010, 2:18 PM

Yes, the pots are way better, WWC, and when I read that it suddenly occurred to me that the prevelance of really bad art is something new.

When I was a kid painter there was plenty of art we didn't like and second-rate art art and failed art but there was nothing like this monumental production of art that is just plain bad. And you don't see it in the other arts; they seems to support mediocrity, as always, but not so much outright bilge as we do.

I gues it derives from the destruction of standards, and the fact that most people don't knbow the difference.


in other news

February 23, 2010, 2:27 PM,2008/susieandfriends/



February 23, 2010, 3:05 PM

OP, it's not simply a question of not knowing the difference or not knowing any better; it's a question of not caring about that because it no longer matters. As long as the bilge, as you put it, is sufficiently fashionable or "validated" by the system, the fact that it's bilge is a non-issue.



February 23, 2010, 3:29 PM

Best of luck on your various projects, Franklin. I don't know about shodan, but you may have achieved polymath.

Congrats on the acquisition, Jack. It's among the two or three best pots you've posted here, and they're all very good.


Chris Rywalt

February 23, 2010, 4:33 PM

I want to be a polymath when I grow up.



February 23, 2010, 7:14 PM

Thanks, Ahab. It's a very striking pot. It's interesting how even a small, relatively mundane object like a tea bowl can pack such a punch if it's made well enough.



February 23, 2010, 7:23 PM

Hey, Franklin, maybe they should have given me a lecture slot at that #class thing you're doing. I could have talked at length, with numerous illustrations, on how simple, everyday pots blow most contemporary "fine" art out of the water, and how my pots are far better value for money aesthetically. Oh wait, I forgot, aesthetics are no longer considered relevant, let alone necessary in art.

Never mind.



February 23, 2010, 7:33 PM

Roberta Riding the Rail



February 23, 2010, 8:31 PM

Opie I'm interested in "when you were a kid painter." Dave Hickey (O.K. he's a secret pleasure of mine, no longer a secret I guess), anyway, Dave says that when he was in N.Y. in the 60's it was made up of "300 highly medicated individuals." The point is it was a much, much smaller world. But you'd think that scaling up to today's much larger art world would include a larger proportion of pretty good artists - and that may actually be the case, although the large amount of bilge, allied with commerce that must go on, may make it harder to concentrate on good work. Would you say there was a core of powerful ideas then that's lacking now? And I note and appreciate Piri's offer of a few shows worth seeing. Robert Irwin (O.K., another secret pleasure) said that the AbEx painters left us some spectacular questions. Are those still good questions? Maybe the best question for the moment is Jack's about tea bowls. I'm certainly following up on that in my own work. I guess I'm trying to frame the moment in terms of the questions that might be out there just now. The upcoming Whitney Bi will certainly pose a few, though I don't think they're the kind of questions I want the answer to. But I'm always open to surprise.



February 23, 2010, 8:56 PM

You might like this Karatsu plate, David:

Karatsu 1
Karatsu 2
Karatsu 3



February 23, 2010, 9:31 PM

Nice. I notice a flaw in the edge. It reminds me, of the two ancient tea bowls we used in the weekend's tea ceremony, one was a simple rice bowl and one was a higher level bowl, probably still for rice, but distinquished by a more complicated glaze and described by tea master Kate as a court bowl. We noticed that the court bowl had a flaw in the glaze, a small spot or hole with missing glaze. I wondered if that small flaw was what allowed it to survive for 1,200 years. Maybe it was always left on the shelf because it wasn't perfect but it was too beautiful to throw away.



February 23, 2010, 10:40 PM

Some very old and revered pots, which have sustained damage at some point, are traditionally repaired or patched up with gold lacquer. This makes it immediately obvious that there has been damage, meaning the repair is not meant to be subtle or inconspicuous. It is considered, in a way, a kind of beauty mark or a distinction of sorts, perhaps because it denotes the survival and preservation of something valued and appreciated.



February 23, 2010, 10:42 PM

I aspire to the quality of painting achieved on that plate.



February 23, 2010, 11:45 PM

David - Hickey's remark is hyperbolic. The 60s were not nearly as medicated as the 70s. (I assume he was talking about drugs, not booze). The number might not be that far off.

Your question is too broad to answer, but for art-making, small size, a core of ambitious, talented individuals with common ideas and attitudes and conventions, is always better than large disparate crowds.

The Abex painters certainly left us some "spectacular questions" - a lot of unfinished business and roads less travelled - because the nature of the art world changed so radically in the 60s. I hope what they started can get finished one day.

The best question is always how do we make better art.



February 24, 2010, 8:21 AM

That's quite a heartening statement in the Rail. Thanks for linking, G.



February 24, 2010, 8:47 AM

Yes, that Rail piece is certainly a move in the right direction.



February 24, 2010, 8:52 AM

It's obviously impossible to avoid making some sort of connection between "highly medicated" and the general quality of the work produced by the people in question at the time in question. Like, duh.



February 24, 2010, 8:59 AM

Re 34, in a piece like this plate, there's no painter as such involved; it's just the potter doing it. It's another example of the power of simplicity, but also, obviously, of a certain kind of sensibility.



February 24, 2010, 9:02 AM

Yes, I think everyone should rread that Brooklyn Rail piece that G linked to. I am not entirely comfortable with it but that is beside the point, really - it is a strongly worded plea to the art world for for normalcy and a return to fundamentals. If that Roberta Smith article actually has started something I will gladly withdraw my criticisms of it.

I also think that it will strike a sympathetic chord among many in our business because the reigning pathology in the art business today comes not from the "working poor", that is, the serious artist, but from an elite, essentially parasitic, coalition of academics, institutions and and rich collectors. I am usually skeptical of such paranoid-sounding declarations but I think the evidence is there.

This Susan Stewart sounds intereting. I'm going to check her out.

The article came up with the phrase "art domesticated by criticism". I'm going to steal that.



February 24, 2010, 9:31 AM

David, I don't believe it is art's job to ask questions anymore than it is to provide answers. Approaching art thus is an extension of the mis-emphasis on "explainablity" - an example of which is when the article cited above uses the term "narrative" here, there, and everywhere, even as it hits the nail on the head when it asserts that the art world mistakenly insists that things produced (exclusively) by the mind are superior to those produced with help from the hand.

There is a need for "gatekeepers" because getting into a museum is the not the same thing as getting into a voting booth. In any case, gatekeepers are not going away, and tagging museum curators with that word does not mean anything except they are doing their jobs. The real question, if you like questions (and I do), is whether they are doing their jobs well.

When the article's authors come out against the "narratives" of AbEx, Pop, and Minimalism, they are skating on equally thin ice. These movements were not based on narrative, but rather some mutually shared attitudes and methods which confined art so that it could be both deeper and freer. The choice is usually between a mile wide and inch deep, or inch wide and mile deep. Pop, for all its weaknesses, coalesced into something much deeper and better than the politically motivated conceptual performative stuff which sprawls all over the place like the thin liquid it is without even the benefit of an exogenous container to substitute for its lack of internal fiber. "Avant-garde" may look like the container, but the term has become so generous as to embrace millions upon millions of works, and thus means too little to define a real border.

All this quibbling aside, the article is basically a positive sign. Thank you, G, for the link.



February 24, 2010, 9:38 AM

Of course there have to be gatekeepers, but they'd damn better know their stuff and do their job properly, or they're bogus at best and perniciously destructive at worst.

I agree the Rail article has some "issues," but as I said before, it's a move in the right direction and, I hope, a sign of waking up and smelling the coffee.



February 24, 2010, 9:53 AM

I have very mixed feelings about this, possibly because it reminds me of Joan Mitchell:

Bowl 1
Bowl 2
Bowl 3



February 24, 2010, 10:59 AM

John, I think you have articulated my reservations about the article, which I was too lazy to do.

And I have also come to see Pop art more kindly, as a kind of healthy & vigorous reaction to an extreme, especially after a museum director said of my recent work that I had discovered Pop Art 50 years too late. I only wish that its practitioners had been better artists.

And of course you are right about "avant-garde". When everything is avant-garde there is no avant-garde.



February 24, 2010, 11:00 AM

Nah. Better then Joan Mitchell, Jack.



February 24, 2010, 11:09 AM

especially after a museum director said of my recent work that I had discovered Pop Art 50 years too late

Yeah, the pop artists brought jazzy color back into their mix. But they did not bounce it off the edge like you do, though. They did not even fair it with the edge; it just leaked off.



February 24, 2010, 11:20 AM

They had a wide-open opportunity to develop a strong abstract/figurative tradition along the lines of the Diebenkorn-type painting on the west coast, but they got too cute and muffed it. They weren't good enough, finally.

I like "leaked off the edge".



February 24, 2010, 11:23 AM

It's not so much that they got too cute, but that they were shallow and lightweight to begin with and got too far with that. In other words, the real problem is that they got too popular, which is not their fault. The real failure lay elsewhere. It still does.



February 24, 2010, 11:46 AM

The End of Political Art -



February 24, 2010, 12:54 PM

A French etching after one of Monet's London paintings:

Le Parlement



February 24, 2010, 12:58 PM

Hey, G. Keep'em coming!

I have been down south for 20 years and I need to be reminded how grotesquely, monumentally, grindingly boring art in NY has become, and perhaps, as your links may be showing, how people are finally getting fed up with it.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 1:57 PM

John sez:
When the article's authors come out against the "narratives" of AbEx, Pop, and Minimalism, they are skating on equally thin ice. These movements were not based on narrative....

I think you're misreading the essay here. The authors aren't declaiming against the narratives in the art; rather, like Roberta Smith in her recent essay, they're arguing against the art historical narrative built around the art, both at the time the art was being made and then over time afterward. Both Smith and the Rail's authors are talking about the single master narrative of art as codified and taught, where you have basically one major style for a period of art and art periods follow one after another like a line of ducklings: Leonardo, Michelangelo, [insert some more names], Courbet, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, Judd, Schnabel, Hirst.

Smith particularly points out that curators and dealers should, by now, know better, but have fallen into the same trap as previous generations by concentrating all their attention on one thread of art-making rather than expressing the many and varied forms of art being made at the time.

I don't think either the Rail staff or Smith mean that AbEx grabbed control of the art world at the behest of the artists more than any other artist did. It's the curators and dealers and historians writing the narrative about the artists.



February 24, 2010, 2:05 PM

The Brooklyn Rail has been around for several years. It's a monthly newspaper, distributed free and available online. All the reviews are written by artists, poets or critics in the NYC area. There's a lot of interviews and the quality seems to be better than the glossy mags. It's NY centric but if someone reads Artforum they should read the Rail.



February 24, 2010, 2:57 PM

The amazing thing, OP, is that so much tripe, political and otherwise, has been taken so seriously for so long. Apart from the people responsible for creating it, who may simply have been incapable of anything artistically worthwhile and just took advantage of a highly convenient situation, those who "validated" the stuff in one way or another are the real villains (or idiots) of the piece.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 3:21 PM

My impression of the Rail is that it's written by scenesters and poseurs. It's Phong Bui's baby and I have it on good authority that he gets invited to speak on every panel discussion that happens in any Brooklyn arts organization, despite the fact that he shows up drunk and/or acts like an arrogant, bloviating jackass who is only vaguely aware of the topic at hand.

If the Rail is on board along with Roberta I think we can say a movement is occurring, but like many a movement, I'd try to make sure you're not under it when it happens. You just might get buried in manure.



February 24, 2010, 4:01 PM

Actually, Chris, "the line of ducklings" is not the worst way to look at the history of excellent art, just that the last 4 on your list are not excellent, and don't really carry on the line the others started - avant-garde and all that shit is what Warhol, Judd, Schnabel and Hirst are all about.

While I agree that following the "avant-garde and all that shit" line is a mistake, it's not a mistake to follow a line per se, rather it is a mistake to follow a poor one.

Paying attention to the "many and varied forms of art being made" usually means being too charitable to low grade art, of which there is plenty to pay attention to. On the other hand, since better art has now come to be regarded as one aspect of "the many and varied forms" and poor art has come to dominate the contemporaneous "line", I would not want the baby thrown out with the bath water.



February 24, 2010, 4:12 PM

The Plagens essay is fine, but the work by Kate Gilmore illustrating it is quite banal.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 4:42 PM

I think the trouble with the line of ducklings is it leaves out a lot of other ducklings, goslings and baby alligators that were also wandering around at the time. What I mean is, it's possible and fruitful to follow one line of art but it should be kept in mind that there are other lines at the same time. And those lines aren't necessarily less good. I mean, you're right, there's a lot of mediocre art out there, and I'm not suggesting that should be elevated out of its depth. But there are good things also going on. Some of the pots Jack raves about, for example, were being made while Van Gogh was dying in a field half a world away. If you followed the New York City museum curator axis you'd never know this. It's like studying European history and calling it World History -- what about China? India? What art was being made in New Delhi while Jackson Pollock was erratically tooling around Long Island?

There are always good artists who can't be properly characterized. Two of my favorites are Rousseau and Magritte. Magritte kind of gets tossed in with the Surrealists and Rousseau with the Post-Impressionists but they're both, in my opinion, poor fits. I'm sure we can all name others.

Think of Darby and yourself, John, at this moment in time. You're not part of the art historical narrative. But you're doing excellent work. I think the Rail and Roberta are calling on New York curators to start thinking about people like you, too, and your place in history.



February 24, 2010, 5:53 PM

This isn't a rational judgment, but I felt a sense of urgency in the Rail piece that I didn't in Roberta's piece. Anyway, I do sympathize with both.



February 24, 2010, 6:16 PM

re: narratives

I just heard a Canadian hockey broadcaster say to fans worrying over every factor related to tonight's olympics quarter-final game between Canada and Russia. "Athlete's don't worry about storylines. The best athletes just come in play the game to the peak of their ability."

This is such a difficult analogy for art worlder moguls because it positions them as Monday-morning or armchair quarterbacks, and not as the starting quarterbacks they'd prefer to think of themselves as.



February 24, 2010, 6:33 PM

Re 59, I expect Smith has more to lose, at least for now, than the Rail people do if she gets too "urgent" (assuming she feels such urgency). And Ahab, unfortunately, the art world's non-artist big shots have plenty of clout, certainly more than a lot of artists, talented or not.


Pretty Lady

February 24, 2010, 7:08 PM

Hey, the Rail piece has disappeared. I know it's not the link, because someone else linked to it on FB and it's disappeared from there, too.

Chris, did I describe Phong to you once and then forget I did, or is my summation of his personality floating around in the stratosphere as a particle of general knowledge?



February 24, 2010, 7:21 PM

Found it.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 7:28 PM

The article does seem to have vanished and isn't in my disk cache either. I wonder where it went.

Looking for it I did find a Powhida cartoon at such low resolution as to be completely unreadable. Which is just as well, probably.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 7:29 PM

Good work, Ahab. Hopefully you didn't stumble onto the cartoon I did as well.



February 24, 2010, 8:52 PM

A leafy interior, reminiscent of aquatic plant life:




February 24, 2010, 8:58 PM

Thanks Chris for #58. Like I said, I certainly don't want the babies thrown out with the bath water. It remains to be seen if they are fished out, though, ever.



February 24, 2010, 9:16 PM

Engraving by a minor name after a minor painter:

Portrait (1818)

And I'm supposed to be impressed by John Currin? Please.



February 24, 2010, 9:29 PM

Good articles. The imposed, oversimplified narrative is the problem - especially when artists try to follow it. I think that was one of Roberta's points. There's a good book by James Elkins called "Master Narratives and Their Discontents." I think the narratives can be useful up to a point but need to be challenged as oversimplifications of the true story of any given time. I would guess that most good artists keep these narratives going in their heads, but they have to be challenged all the time. These are the kinds of questions I was referring to - the questions an artist asks themselves (like what do I paint, where did the Pop artists fall short, what can I take from Franz Kline, or whatever ?) John Perreault has been writing for years about what he calls the braid theory of art, and argues for a fuller, quirkier, more inclusive approach and a regular questioning of master narratives, which would tie in with Chris's call for a history that looks at Japanese pots being made while Pollock slings paint.

re, John #41: When the article's authors come out against the "narratives" of AbEx, Pop, and Minimalism, they are skating on equally thin ice. These movements were not based on narrative, but rather some mutually shared attitudes and methods which confined art so that it could be both deeper and freer.

Like Chris, I also don't think the authors were saying the art was based on a narrative, but that narrative was applied later. But I agree with your main point, and I was trying to get at this when I asked Opie about when he was a "kid painter" as he put it - whether there was a stronger agreement among artists (not literally, but in the air so to speak) about the direction they were going.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 9:30 PM

Well, John, if the list of artists suggested by Roberta and the Rail are what's next on the menu, I'm afraid you and Darby are still off the table. On the other hand, you probably wouldn't want to be named in the same breath with such lousy painters as Nicole Eisenman or Dana Schutz.

On the other hand, Rackstraw Downes looks pretty okay, and he painted several spots at my beloved Snug Harbor.



February 24, 2010, 9:40 PM

Oh it was Pollock and New Delhi, not Japan in 58.

Nice portrait Jack. 1818 was one of my favorite years for fashion and decorative arts. Jane Austen died in 1817. Now please don't subject me to a radical political critique anyone, I just like the art and the furniture.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 9:42 PM

Perreault is a chucklehead and is almost certainly one of those John was warning against when he said expanding the narrative "usually means being too charitable to low grade art". Perreault would love to see a narrative of narratives where nothing is privileged over anything else and a Rubens is as valid as one of Kaprow's piles of old car tires. He's another one of those rah-rah cheerleader "everyone's an artist" bozos.



February 24, 2010, 9:47 PM

No I disagree on Perreault. He was active himself in poetry and performance art so he likes that stuff, but I never found him to be a rah rah guy at all. I know him from craft circles and I always found him pretty discerning.



February 24, 2010, 10:15 PM

Etching after a Pre-Raphaelite portrait (c. 1860) of an actual person, though she strongly reminds me of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations:

A Lady



February 24, 2010, 10:23 PM

The only etching believed to have been made by Rubens:

St. Catherine (click image to enlarge as needed)



February 24, 2010, 10:36 PM

am i gay and or disturbed if i like helen reddy's female heavy metal anthem "i am women"


don't care about the words, but the delivery gets me fired up like hells bells. i do like her voice though.

as always, keep it coming jack.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 11:06 PM

If you think that makes you gay, you should hear me singing along with Gloria Gaynor. That's gay.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 11:13 PM

David, I only know Perreault from his blog, and on his blog he's a Fluxus/Yoko Ono/performance art/Allan Kaprow/rah-rah cheerleader. Also, he was the visual arts director of my beloved Snug Harbor while it underwent some unpleasant changes. I blame him (although I only found out it was him a few months ago).

You'd like Snug Harbor, David. The Main Hall opened in 1831, right around your favorite arts period.



February 24, 2010, 11:22 PM

chris i saw you grabbing your ankles before i even brought it up, gloria gaynor.. OMG



February 24, 2010, 11:23 PM

"...I asked Opie about when he was a "kid painter" as he put it - whether there was a stronger agreement among artists (not literally, but in the air so to speak) about the direction they were going."

I don't think I answered this directly. As I recall - I wouldn't call it "direction" exactly - but there was a very strong common purpose and shared "ethos" which was completely different from today. It is very hard to put into words but it was there and strongly felt.

I think the change is mainly brought about by size and by the loosening of standards, even though these "standards" were never really explicit. Any art form that becomes popular enough is naturally diluted.


Chris Rywalt

February 24, 2010, 11:29 PM

Also Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero".

At least I haven't downloaded any Michael Bublé. Yet.



February 25, 2010, 8:40 AM

OP, I think the difference is that art became a shameless game about whatever would fly, regardless of how flimsy, stupid, ugly, dreary, ponderous, overblown, pretentious, cynical or downright incompetent it might be. It became about putting something over, as opposed to making the best possible work. It became, in effect, a con game, intentionally or not. Sadly, there was no shortage of suckers or accomplices, but rather a shocking overabundance of both.


Tom Hering

February 25, 2010, 9:00 AM

So artists established their anti-establishment credentials by spitting in the face of the art world? And the art world maintained its ultra-coolness by showing off the spittle?



February 25, 2010, 9:18 AM


You're right about Perreault's blog. He's been on that stuff for a long while now, and I read it. I could have said he used to write well about crafts and other things, even painting. I do like his braid theory. One thing I do like about him is he likes to rescue artist's from oblivion in his writing. We might not agree with his choices always but the impulse is commendable.



February 25, 2010, 9:41 AM


I saw Buble in concert several years ago. I went with my then girlfriend, though I had been intrigued by some things I'd heard. Anyway, he opens with this huge song and it was really, really great. He started talking to the audience once it was over and said something like, "Guys... I know you don't want to be here. Your wife or girlfriend dragged you here. But boys... you can thank me later because tonight... YOU'RE GETTING LAID!!!"

And then he launched into his next song. He was actually really funny and more manly than I thought. It was one of my top five favorite concerts.

I'd say give some of his albums a listen and don't get suckered into his public image (sells lots of records though). If you can, see him in concert. He's really good. Also, do a Google search for his fiance... "Luisana Loreley Lopilato de la Torre" :)


Chris Rywalt

February 25, 2010, 10:18 AM

I honestly admit that Bublé's big hit playing on the radio these days is infectious. I'm a real sucker for power pop. I'm ashamed. I just haven't downloaded it yet. (See what I did there? It's like the lyrics in his song... Never mind.)

That Luisana Loreley Lopilato de la Torre is quite the attractive young lady.



February 25, 2010, 10:32 AM

Uh, you know, there are certain personal, uh, proclivities and/or issues that should remain, well, personal. I don't avoid Oprah and "Dr. Phil" like the plague for nothing. Thank you.


Chris Rywalt

February 25, 2010, 10:49 AM

Michael Bublé is the Japanese tea bowl of popular music.



February 25, 2010, 12:20 PM

Judging by the remarks above, Chris, I would take that comparison with grain of salt.


Chris Rywalt

February 25, 2010, 12:32 PM

I don't mean it sincerely.



February 26, 2010, 10:08 AM

A narrative that's more truth than fable.



February 26, 2010, 10:14 AM

"No wonder everyone switched to knitting"

Or pots, as the case may be. Whatever works.



Other Projects


Design and content ©2003-2022 Franklin Einspruch except where otherwise noted